Caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s can be a demanding task, and you will most likely need to make some alterations to your home to keep your loved one safe. Seemingly minor issues such as leaving doors unlocked or turning off certain lights could result in accidents and injuries. Luckily, with a little bit of planning and foresight, you can make the home a much safer place for a senior loved one who is living with Alzheimer’s.
1. Install Motion-Sensing Lights
Seniors with Alzheimer’s often have a difficult time keeping a consistent sleep schedule, and they might end up wandering around the home in the middle of the night. Installing motion-sensing lights can help them avoid obstructions and tripping hazards if they wake up while it is still dark outside. These lights are especially useful in potentially dangerous areas such as stairways and bathrooms.
Taking precautions can increase safety for seniors both inside and outside the home. Aging adults who need help around the house, transportation to medical appointments and social events, and assistance with exercise can benefit from having an in-home elderly caregiver. Portland seniors can enjoy greater independence and receive regular mental and social stimulation when relying on a trusted professional who is expertly trained in various aspects of senior care.
2. Establish a Safe Room
External stimuli like loud noises and flashing lights can confuse seniors with Alzheimer’s, which is why you need to have an area in your home designed to be as soothing and comfortable as possible. Once you have picked a room, remove any objects your loved one might be able to hurt him or herself with, including scissors, chemicals, and anything that is flammable.
Every senior living with Alzheimer’s deserves high-quality Alzheimer’s care. Portland, ME, families can rely on the caregivers at Home Care Assistance to keep their loved ones safe while managing the symptoms of the disease. Using our Cognitive Therapeutics Method, our caregivers help seniors regain a sense of pride and accomplishment while slowing the rate of cognitive decline
3. Label Everything
As Alzheimer’s progresses, it often becomes difficult to distinguish between similar items. When your loved one is hungry, he or she might rummage through a cupboard full of cleaning supplies instead of the pantry. The easiest way to reduce the risk of mixing items up is to label all cupboards, dressers, drawers, bottles, and containers.
4. Remove Electrical Items from the Bathroom
Electrical items such as space heaters, radios, and hair dryers need to be taken out of the bathroom or locked in a secure cupboard. In addition to forgetting what these items are, many seniors with Alzheimer’s also have a difficult time controlling and using smaller devices. If your loved one wants a private area for grooming, put a small vanity with a comfortable chair in his or her bedroom.
5. Change the Locks
Before the disease progresses, install and remove some locks around your home. Areas like the attic and garage should most likely be locked at all times unless it is safe to be in those rooms. You also need to remove locks from bathrooms, bedrooms, and other locations where your loved one may accidentally lock him or herself in.
6. Remove Dangerous Items from the Kitchen
In addition to knives and other sharp cutlery, your loved one’s kitchen might also contain spoiled foods, chemicals, and lighters. Storing all those items in one or two locked cupboards is the easiest way to increase safety in a kitchen.
7. Install Alarms or Cameras
Wandering is a common symptom of Alzheimer’s. Instead of locking your front and back door, install alarms or cameras. Many companies now sell wireless alarm systems that send a text or call to your phone when certain doors are opened or closed.
Hiring a professional caregiver is another way to increase your loved one’s safety in the home. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Portland home care. Services our caregivers provide include transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping. To learn about our professional in-home Alzheimer’s care services and how they can benefit your aging loved one, call us at (207) 835-4849 today.